Johnny Whispers: My Hero in Panama City Beach, Florida
I did it. I finally killed the bottle of Panama Jack SPF 15 I bought about four years ago in Sarasota. I guess this is the time for goodbye. I was super happy to find that bottle of Panama Jack, even though it was pretty pricey at the beach. But I was happy to see that Panama Jack made it in-tact out of the 80’s. I always liked him, I had one of his t-shirts. Before that day, I didn’t know he had survived.
Today was one of those perfect beach days in north Florida that make you wonder if some power above is trying to cajole you in to staying at the beach for all time. The water was clear as a bell and it was hotter than a firecracker, which made the water even more inviting.
I went back to St. Andrew’s State Park in Panama City Beach for the morning. I think the beach there is so superior there is no reason to go any place else. I signed up to take the ferry to Shell Island.
With an hour to kill, I decided to go get a yummy frozen drink (like a Bushwacher) before the ferry came. I ended up at some local dive right outside the park entrance. I don’t remember the name, but it’s about a quarter of a mile from the park entrance on the right.
If you aren’t familiar with PCB, it is an aging resort town (as mentioned in Fun Times in the Redneck Riviera) and there are many aging bars with many aging patrons. But to tell you the truth, I’d rather spend an hour with these guys than with all of the tourists in their Hard Rock Café t-shirts.
Anyway, the A.C. was cool and the Braves were playing the Mets. The place didn’t have a full bar, but they did serve wine. I couldn’t have been happier. That was when I overheard the talk of ‘Johnny Whispers.’
That is such an incredibly cool name that I couldn’t help but overhearing more. The details are very sketchy, but Johnny Whispers is a regular of this particular bar who likes to whisper something to the effect of “Do you want to buy a boat” every time he walks past the other bar patrons. I wish I could have met him. With that kind of name, your imagination tends to run wild. I like to think of Mr. Whispers as a modern looking Captain Morgan (my very favorite drink in the world). Some sort of pirate, anyway. Or maybe someone from a Jimmy Buffett story. Johnny Whispers. That is so cool!